As the proliferation of new devices and platforms continue to emerge, capturing consumers’ attention is a major concern for advertisers.

In this Digital Dialogue, I interviewed Scott Grunther – EVP of Millward Brown Digital’s advertiser practice – about some of the challenges facing the industry today.

What would you say is the biggest challenge advertisers have when it comes to digital marketing?

There are many, but I think one of the biggest challenges advertisers are facing related to digital marketing is a combination of ad viewability and engagement (or lack thereof). So much attention has been paid in the industry to improving cross-platform audience measurement from an overall reach perspective, but at the end of the day it’s not just about reach, but rather “effective” reach. It all starts with developing compelling and relevant ad creative, combined with leveraging innovative and effective platforms and formats, and then ultimately being able to measure and confirm that ads are indeed having impact. If you buy the right audience but don’t focus on whether consumers actually see the ads, and don’t measure or understand how effective the ads are in driving KPIs, then critical marketing dollars are being wasted.

With rapidly-shifting consumer behaviors, how do marketers stay on top of targeting their message to the right audience?

There are many pieces to this puzzle. It starts with identifying key consumer segments and leveraging data to understand where and how to best reach them across all media platforms. Developing terrific (and of course highly relevant) ad creative, and then leveraging compelling and engaging ad formats is a critical component, as well. Of course, marketers that can get social media right are going to have a leg up on the competition. I watch my kids (ages 14 and 11) consume media, and if they are not buried in Snapchat and/or Instagram on their smartphones, then they are binge-watching commercial-free TV on Netflix. Usually, they are doing both at the same time. It is creating relevant content for these consumers in such ways that the audience does not even realize they are being marketed to that will enable brands to succeed. If done right, consumers will look to pull good marketing content in, rather than having it pushed towards them.

What do you think is the biggest opportunity for marketers?

Any marketer that can find ways to have consumers “pull” their content in because they enjoy it, value it, and most importantly want to share it, will win.

A little something fun – our President, Stephen DiMarco, is a huge fan of music – what’s your favorite album and why?

Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run”. I’ve always been a huge Bruce fan, and that album from top to bottom is a work of art, both musically and lyrically. Long live the Boss.

Thanks, Scott!

Scott is Executive Vice President of the advertiser practice for Millward Brown Digital, leading the team that provides marketing and advertising effectiveness solutions to top brands. Scott has over twenty years of sales, business development, and management experience within the media and advertising space. Prior to joining Millward Brown, he spent ten years building businesses in the insights and analytics arena with top market research firms such as Nielsen and Ipsos. Scott holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a B.A. from Hamilton College.

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